France's leading power equipment and train manufacturer Alstom said on Friday it will announce its decision on bids to acquire its energy activities" no later than Monday".
In a statement posted on its website, Alstom said the group's board "will be convened no later than ... June 23, to review and resolve upon the updated offer from the General Electric and the proposals of the Siemens and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries."
French President Francois Hollande will hold successive meetings on Friday afternoon with the heads of General Electric (GE) and Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to discuss their proposals for Alstom's thermal power, renewable power and grid businesses worth 14.8 billion euros (20.11 billion dollars).
In the latest phase of the two-month competition to buy Alstom power arm, GE on Thursday improved its offer by proposing fifty-fifty joint ventures in grid, nuclear and renewable assets, in response to the government's request to have "best alliance."
In a counter offer, Siemens and MHI added 1.2 billion euros to their joint offer initially set at 7 billion euros in cash.
Siemens valued the engineering group's energy business at around 14.2 billion euros, some 1.8 billion euros more than the GE proposal. The German bidder said to offer job guarantees in France and Germany for three years while MHI pledged to create more than 1,000 jobs.
In order to protect "national interest" and avoid job losses, the government issued a decree boosting the state veto on foreign takeovers of strategic sectors. (1 euro = 1.359 U.S.dollars)